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Comment: Re:Great (Score 1) 114

by bill_mcgonigle (#47516457) Attached to: Firefox 33 Integrates Cisco's OpenH264

I always wanted a backdoor in my browser.

I really did try searching for how this plugin retrieval works but must not have use the right search terms.

To stay license compliant *AND* safe, Mozilla should sign the modules as they become available, and Firefox should only download them if both Mozilla's and Cisco's signatures verify.

That being done, there's very little difference between Mozilla shipping the code to you as part of a Firefox update and having the browser fetch it afterwards.

But if Mozilla is _only_ trusting Cisco's signature, then, yeah, wow, holy cow, back a truck into it.

Links welcome.

Comment: Re:Slashvertisement? (Score 1) 86

by TeknoHog (#47510503) Attached to: Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video)

In the past few years, USB has gotten much faster

I agree with most of your post, but this is simply false. USB 3.0 is a completely new interface, bolted on USB 1/2 to make it seem like a seamless transition.

I used to think USB is all about selling a new interface with an old name. For example, in a few years we'd have a CPU socket called USB 14.0, but hey, at least it's USB. Now I have a USB 3.0 hard drive, and the mini plug/socket in particular shows how it's just USB 1/2 + 3.0 bolted together. So my new future prediction is USB 17.0 where you have this fist-sized lump of connectors from different ages, all tied into one bunch to ensure backwards compatibility.

BTW, I have two Intel Core CPUs here, Core 2 Duo T7200 (released 2006) and Core i5 520M (2010), both "mobile" CPUs. The former is a lot faster under certain workloads. In practice, they are roughly equal, and the new one probably has better power efficiency, but it's not exactly the level of progress I'd expect.

Comment: Re:SCSI madness (Score 1) 183

by fermion (#47498189) Attached to: The Almost Forgotten Story of the Amiga 2000
I never had a problem with SCSI. As a matter of fact, it was as plug and play as you could get a the time. For instance, the IOmega tape drives came in SCSI and parallel. Installing the parallel PC option was very difficult, even following instructions. On a Macintosh with SCSI, it was plug and play. The biggest issue I saw was just getting it plugged in and either using a setting a terminator. In other words, following instructions.

Comment: Re:if you've voted R or D... (Score 1) 203

Nonsense. For example, if you voted for Ross Perot, you're directly responsible for the Republicans losing the White House.

That's silly - exit polls showed more Perot voters would have otherwise voted for Clinton than for Bush.

Either go back to your government as intended; that is to say, without political parties, or accept the fact that there are, in fact, political parties, and change your government setup to work with that.

That right there, though, is some good stuff.

Comment: DUH (Score 2) 82

by fermion (#47496351) Attached to: High School Students Not Waiting For Schools To Go Online
Any student that is disciplined, self motivated, and has learned how to learn, will be more able to learn in a an independent fashion that students who do not have these skills. In a traditional education one went to school where one listened to a professor lecture or read books on the subject. The actual pedagogy, after the teen age years, was minimal, and often involved simple discipline, not teaching of the skills one needed to learn more independently in later life. As long as we could live with the vast majority population engaged in semi-skilled labor, this was fine. However, now we really have more a need for skilled labor. This requires more people to have than a high school education. So we need an advanced pedagogy to help people reach the potential where they can learn more.

All these computer classes are great for the natural learner, the 20% or so of students who have that ability. But these are the same students who have been graduating high school for year, who can go to the public library and learn everything that they would if they got an MBA(one of good friends did this), who, like reported in the NYT today, did not complete school but invented Scotch Tape.

While we need to make sure not to apply negative pressure to these kids, which means to let them take the online courses, give them independent study, allow to explore, we also cannot use this an excuse to stop the more expensive education of the kids who really need to be taught. The correlation between online courses and independent skills(Or as it says, habits of the mind) in no way indicates that online courses teach independent skills. Sure, you could put a kid a computer and give him an F if she does not complete statistics, but is that teaching? Some would say yes. I would say we are accepting that most of kids will be semi-skilled laborers without the jobs to insure a high rate of employment, which means more welfare checks.

Comment: Re:For those that don't know: (Score 2) 112

by bill_mcgonigle (#47495757) Attached to: Domain Registry of America Suspended By ICANN

ICANN always argued that regulation / enforcement / policing of the registrars was not their job in response to complaints about many registrar's activities

Even if the activities are illegal (statute or Common Law)? If not ICANN, than who else? This is one of the problems with giving ICANN a monopoly.

"60 day hold/no registrar transfer period" after you renew your domain or change the name of any of your WHOIS contacts

Is that not disclosed in their Terms of Service or is it more like, "big boobs on TV so I didn't bother to read the agreement"?

Not saying it's not scummy, but scummy and fraud are different. If it's not in their ToS but they do it anyway, it's probably illegal as unlawful holding of property (some courts in some jurisdictions have recognized domains as property). Regardless, experienced ski instructors usually advise you're gonna have a bad time if you register with GoDaddy.

Comment: Re:Generations before us (Score 4, Insightful) 203

by bill_mcgonigle (#47494329) Attached to: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45


Great generation defeated Nazis, landed on the moon; Baby Boomer generation built Internet and tackled racial and gender issues. What are we doing other that building surveillance state and wealth inequality?

We're trying to deal with the surveillance state and the wealth inequality that was produced by the system the "Greatest" generation created. Likely several generations will be required to dig out from under it.

Comment: tuned (Score 1) 160

by bill_mcgonigle (#47494095) Attached to: Linux Needs Resource Management For Complex Workloads

I don't have hard data yet, but I'm finding that EL7 is much much faster than EL6 on the same hardware for the workloads I've tried so far.

I don't know that tuned is most responsible, but I can see that it's running and that's what it's supposed to do.

I realize that the kernel is better and perhaps XFS helps, but those alone seem insufficient to realize the difference.

Anyway, it's somewhat along the direction people are talking about, even if only minimally.

Comment: Re:It's finally time to do it (Score 4, Insightful) 472

No, this is the old "Reefer Madness" mentality, meant to make happy both the Puritans and the prison profiteers while keeping the politicians in an elevated state of power.

What actually happens, and Portugal ran this experiment with a sample size of over 8 million people during the past decade, is that when drug use is decriminalized, the usage rate quickly falls to about half.

Most of those are people who are no longer afraid to seek treatment. Some are folks who wind up court-ordered to get treatment, and a few were drug users who were only doing it because drugs seemed cool because they were illegal.

At the end, though, the incontrovertible fact is that the community has half the number of drug users as it did under Prohibition. Prohibitionists are responsible for a doubling of the drug usage rate in the community. Does that seem counter-intuitive? So what? The data is in.

Comment: Re:I disagree (Score 1) 239

by Coryoth (#47488509) Attached to: Math, Programming, and Language Learning

Math is all about being precise, logical.. Communicating exactly one concept at a time. Natural languages do neither.

Except math is almost never actually done that way in practice. Euclid was wonderful, but almost all modern math does not work that strictly (and Euclid really should have been more careful with the parallel postulate -- there's "more than one thing at a time" involved there). Yes, proofs are careful and detailed, but so is, say, technical writing in English. Except for a few cases (check out metamath.org, or Homotopy Type Theory) almost no-one actually pedantically lays out all the formal steps introducing "only one concept at a time".

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.

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